THE young daughter of Kelly Davies, who was stabbed to death, was found standing close to her mum’s body and clutching her doll.

Family friend Vincent Walmsley made the harrowing discovery when he went to collect Ms Davies and her daughter from their Farnworth home to take them to a party.

Pensioner Mr Walmsley had acted as a carer, taking 31-year-old Ms Davies to appointments for several years, Manchester Crown Court heard Mr Walmsley told the court how he let himself into the flat using his key just before 1pm on Monday, June 4, last year.

There was no sign of a break-in, the patio doors were shut, but Ms Davies was lying “prone “ on the sofa.

Mr Walmsley told the court how he put his hand on Miss Davies’ chest to see if she had a pulse but there was none and her face was white.

The television was on, but not tuned to a channel and her daughter, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was standing by a wall.

“(The girl) was standing there clutching a little doll,” said Mr Walmsley, who rang the emergency services.

The prosecution claim Ms Davies had been stabbed to death by her 36-year-old ex-boyfriend two days earlier — the day after he had been released from prison.

Joseph Davies, who was not married to Ms Davies, and is of no fixed address, denies murder.

He was arrested in The Netherlands after being hit by a train in The Hague the day after Ms Davies’ body was found. His injuries were so severe that he had to have his right leg amputated below the knee.

Mr Walmsley, aged 65, told the court how he had known Ms Davies since she was a teenager but for the last few years of her life had acted like a carer, taking her to appointments three or four times a week and helping her beat her heroin addiction.

He said that in the months before her death she had been winning her battle and had been testing negative for drugs.

On June 1 Davies, Ms Davies long-term former boyfriend and the father of her three children, was released from Haverigg prison and had made arrangements to come back to Bolton and stay temporarily with Mr Walmsley.

The pensioner told the court that that morning he had taken Ms Davies to the Stonehill Medical Centre, where she was seeking treatment for depression, and just after 1.30pm he got a call from Davies saying he had dropped bags of clothes off at Mr Walmsley’s house before going to the community drugs team centre to get a methadone prescription.

Mr Walmsley said he collected Joseph Davies from the centre and took him to Ms Davies’ flat in Queen Street, even though a judge had ruled the former couple should not be in contact.

He added the pair wanted to talk before deciding to visit friends in Tonge Moor, so he gave them a lift there in his van.

After receiving text messages from Ms Davies later that evening, asking him to pick them up again, he did so, taking them back to Ms Davies flat.

Mr Walmsley said the pair had been drinking but were not in a bad mood until later on in the journey when Joseph Davies accused Ms Davies of seeing other men while he was in prison.

He added that during the conversation Ms Davies referred to a previous occasion when Davies had threatened to chop her up and throw her in the river.

She then swore on her children’s lives that she had not been seeing anyone.

“I know now you’re telling the truth because of the way you answered,” Davies is then said to have told Ms Davies.

The following morning Davies turned up at Mr Walmsley’s home, saying he wanted to go shopping in Bolton to buy Ms Davies some clothes.

Mr Walmsley said Davies had a graze above one eye but did not explain how he got it.

The pensioner drove Davies into town and then went with Ms Davies to collect her daughter from a party and take them back to the Farnworth flat before returning to Bolton to collect Davies.

Davies was carrying a polythene bag containing three dresses he had bought for Ms Davies and a mobile phone.

When the two men got back to Ms Davies’ flat she came outside to collect the bag from the van and Mr Walmsley drove off.

He was never to hear from either of them again.

Two days later he went back to the flat to help Ms Davies take her daughter to another party, only to find the mum dead.

The court had previously heard that she had suffered multiple stab wounds to her throat, face and hands. The prosecution allege this occurred on Saturday evening, shortly before Davies took a taxi to Manchester Airport and then on to London, where he caught a Eurostar train to Lille.

The case continues.